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I need a visual lesson on knife sharpening

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Newbie here!!!! nice to meet you all~ I've been cooking for the last 20 years......i'm the one at the party who brings the mango and boursin pizza and everyone says :eek: until they realize they've just experienced their first real experience with flavor.......i do need some help in the knife sharpening department, my husband looks like the butcher when i ask him to sharpen my knives.....any suggestions or visual aids would be great (he is a very visual creature, a man visually stimulated....go figure:bounce:
Thanks for the help and the great forum
post #2 of 10
Technique varies by equipment. Crock sticks are different than stones are different than a jig.

The Spyderco Sharpmaker comes with a good video.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 10
There aren't many books/videos on knife sharpening, but there is a tremendous amount of material on sharpening wood working equipment: Plane irons, chisels, etc.. Most of this material can be found at the library. The C.I.A has a good book out called , I think, "The knife kit", and has some excellent material dealing with knives.

That being said there are infinite methods of sharpening and sharpening equipment, just be aware that there is no "perfect", or superior method or equipment. There are a couple of golden rules though...

Always work from course to fine abrasives, with the current abrasive removing the previous abrasive's scratchmarks.

The finer the abrasive, the better and longer lasting edge.

Always pay close attention to the bevel, or the angle at which the two edges meet.

All steel formulas are one kind of a trade off or another.

Hope this helps....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Foodpump,
Great information! I am going to do some extensive research on it. As of late, i've been depending on others to sharpen my knives. Sometimes they come out great and other times it seems as if several inches of the knife have been removed, trying to get it right. Aside from being a huge timesaver, the safety aspect is pretty important to me too. What knives do you like using? I often dream about ceramic, but I just can't justify spending that kind of money and take the chance on the possibility of dropping it~ I wonder if the length of time between sharpening is reduced? Well, thank you very much to you and phatch for the information. I am grateful to have found this forum to learn, laugh and make a few friends!
Take care
Toni
post #5 of 10
A quick Google search on "knife sharpening video" brings up numerous on line videos on the subject.

Shel
post #6 of 10
Ripe-
After you a little research, decide on which method of sharpening you want to use - electric, hand-held scraper-type, water stone, etc., go to

www.leevalley.com

for a large selection of sharpening tools. I prefer their Japanese waterstones and a little gadget that clamps on the back of the knife to hold it at an exact angle to the stone you're using. It's adjustible for different angles, and is called "knife guide" in their catalog. Do a search for "sharpening" and you'll get the whole line of equipment. You will need a steel to maintain the edge. I like a diamond steel, but others prefer a steel steel.

If your library has a copy of Sharpening by Leonard Lee (He's the Lee of LeeValley.) Read the chapter on knife sharpening and you will be able to decide just which approach you want to use. The book is mostly about woodworking tools, so it's probably not worth your money to buy it, but the knife chapter is excellent. Well, tho whole book is excellent, but you don't need most of it.

If it's not in the library and you could find a cheap used copy on Amazon, it might make sense. It'll tell you all you need to know.

Mike :smoking:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #7 of 10
Lee's "sharpening" is is the very book that has got me where I am. The super-powered (over 1000x) micron photos of blade edges are worth more that a thousand words. Here you can really see what a sharp edge is, what a dull edge is, and how to properly establish a new edge.

Irregardless of your choice of materials to sharpen, the principles are the same, irregardless of the tool/knife you want to sharpen, and the principles must be understood to properly sharpen: A Bevel is the angle at which both sides of the blade meet, and each tool, whether an axe, chisel, chef's knife or surgeon's scalpel, has it's own angle of bevel. For a chef's knife's it's generally around 22 degrees. If this angle is higher then the edge is more delicate and will curl over and fatigue prematurely, if it is shallower, then it will act as a wedge, and although it will maintain it's edge longer will make rough cuts. The bevel must be respected and maintained if you want a sharp knife/tool. A course abrasive will remove metal and "sharpen", but will leave deep scratches--, think of a piece of corrugated cardboard on edge, the scratches will weaken the metal and the edge will chip and fatigue prematurely. A finer abrasive of around 4000 x will leave a finer finish, with very fine scratches, and the edge will be stronger and maintain it's edge longer. A highly polished knife, like a factory-new knife has been polished to around 8000 grit. Most foods (meats, cheeses etc) will not stick badly to a finely finished edge, but stick like heck to a coarsely sharpened one. A coarsly sharpened knife is advantageous for slicing bread and vegetables like tomatoes or peppers though.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #8 of 10
Funny story-
I went to a woodworking show in Chicago six or eight years ago, and there was a LeeValley booth. I went over and chatted with the guy in the booth, and finally said "I forget who wrote it, but that's a great book on sharpening you sell."

He stiffened perceptibly and growled "I wrote it!!"

It was Leonard Lee, of course, and I cursed my inability to remember names.

Mike :blush:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #9 of 10
I prefer using stones made by Carborundum and Norton. Use little fluid (either kerosene or baby oil diluted with kerosene) on sharpening stones. During the sharpening stroke, the less you press on the blade, the better.

Learning that technique, I nowadays shave with my axes. If I could only get Edge Shaving Gel to sponsor me for a Super Bowl commercial, shaving with an axe clad only in a..., ..., then I wouldn't need to work anymore.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #10 of 10
But for real sharpening lessons, navigate around this outdoors site. It'll help immensely.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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